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Sesselmann Returns for 2012

January 9, 2012 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA (January 9, 2012) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) today announced the return of Canadian Women's National Team (CWNT) defender Lauren Sesselmann. Sesselmann is the only player to remain rostered with the club since the Beat's 2010 inaugural season.

"Lauren is a fantastic person," said Beat head coach James Galanis. "She's a great player to have in your squad because she always gives 110 percent every day at training. She is versatile as a player, and she is fantastic in the community."

Sesselmann started in five of 11 Beat appearances last season before earning her first call-up to the CWNT. Her first Canadian cap (international appearance) came as a starter on Sept. 17, 2011, in a 1-1 draw against the United States at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

"Growing as a player and getting your confidence level up is important," said Sesselmann. "You're playing with the best of the best at this level. You play against the best in WPS as well, but this is even another step up from that. It has helped me grow as a player and has helped me become more confident. I think the experience here will help me be more comfortable in Atlanta."

Atlanta has become a second home for the defender since spending the past two seasons in the Southeastern U.S. "I am absolutely ecstatic to be back! I absolutely love it there. To see all the new signings, we have some great forwards coming and the defense is shaping up. In talking to James about his philosophy, I am just so excited to get to Atlanta and to get the season going."

Sesselmann's growth as a player is a tribute to her work ethic. In her first season with the Beat, she signed as a developmental player and saw only three starts in her nine appearances.

"She was a developmental player when I came on board in the first season, and I noticed how hard she worked and that she obviously wanted to succeed," said Galanis. "From there, she outlined her goal to move off the developmental list and to be a player in the squad of 11." "Last year," said the coach, "we set out to improve her entire game. She spent a lot of time focusing on her skills, and she did a lot of personal sessions. She played left back, left mid, and up top. Physically, she became a lot fitter,and I was able to inject confidence into her. I think that everything combined with her commitment to get better and her daily efforts at training have improved her entire game and are the what earned her a call-up with the CWNT. I am very proud of Lauren and her continuous efforts to improve as a player."

Sesselmann was initially drafted by the Chicago Red Stars as the 44th overall pick in the 2009 WPS Draft. She completed that rookie season as a WPS Champion with New Jersey's Sky Blue FC, and in 2010, she signed with the Atlanta Beat as a free agent.

Prior to playing in WPS, Sesselmann starred at Purdue University from 2001-2005, finishing with six school records including most career points, goals, assists, game-winning goals, multiple-goal games and shots on goal registered. Sesselmann, a native of Green Bay, finished her Boilermaker career with 90 points on 34 goals and 22 assists and was named to the All-Big 10 first team in both 2003 and 2005.

"Lauren is amazing with the community, and she is fan favorite," said Galanis. "She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to sign an item or take a photo with anyone. Over the course of three years, she has created a special connection with the fans in Atlanta."

Defender Lauren Sesselmann and all Atlanta Beat players report for preseason on March 1, 2012.


Lauren Sesselmann

Alli Lipsher

Kelley O'Hara

Katherine Reynolds

Angela Salem

Lauren Fowlkes

Rebecca Moros

Nikki Washington

Christen Press

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